Dead Man Walking

802 Words Dec 26th, 2012 4 Pages
Critical Reflection: Restorative and Retributive Justice and Culture of Life and Death
By: Maria Camila Cuellar “Dead man walking” is an expression often used by a police officer when accompanying a criminal walking towards his death. How can a dead man walk? This is a contradicting sentence that makes no sense. It dehumanizes the person walking and lets the person know that is going to die for the infraction committed. This is one of the last sentences Matthew Poncelot in the movie “Dead Man Walking” heard. Ironically, the last sentence Matthew said was “I love you”. How was he able to express love in such a “culture of death”, surrounded by people that hated him and wanted him to die? This was part of Sister Helen’s job, to build a
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The media and society tells us that we will be happy when we have what we want. It implies that people that look in a certain way will be happier. It makes me feel frustrated and sad because it is very shallow to think that money can buy happiness. In my opinion happiness is a combination of love, hope, gratefulness and patience. I also realized that culture of death is linked with restorative justice; it brings death to the offender who is viewed as less worthy of life because of the mistakes he/she made. In the same way, culture of life is linked to retributive justice; the point of this approach to justice is not to harm anyone so it does not bring a culture of death to anyone, instead it uses the love of forgiveness and conciliation to help the offender and the victim.
By studying the concepts of culture of death and life, retributive and restorative justice, I have discovered another way to bring culture of life to my life and everyone surrounding me: to use retributive justice whenever someone hurts me. Using restorative justice will only bring more hatred to me and the people that surround me and revenge is not the point of justice, the point of justice is to construct a healthy society, this can only be reached with retributive justice. I also learned that money cannot buy happiness and being fully alive does not mean to have what I want, but to love everyone, knowing this is very helpful in my life
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